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U.S. grains: Soy snaps winning streak

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. soybean futures fell 1.2 per cent on Tuesday, pulling back from a 4-1/2 month high on a round of profit-taking, as well as pressure from falling crude oil prices.

Corn and wheat futures also fell, their fourth straight losing session due to pressure from ample global supplies. Multiple Chicago Board of Trade soft red winter wheat futures contracts hit new lows during Tuesday’s session.

Soybeans dropped as speculators sold off positions they had built up during an export-fuelled rally. A four per cent drop in crude oil prices, stemming from signs that leading oil exporters in OPEC were struggling to agree on cutting production, added to the bearish tone hanging over the market.

“There is some macro pressure here in the soy complex,” said Terry Linn, with Chicago brokerage Linn + Associates. “We have been on a big rally, so we are correcting some of that.”

CBOT January soybean futures ended down 13-1/2 cents at $10.42-1/2 a bushel (all figures US$).

“Soybeans have come up and it has been a demand-driven story. But we have to see if that demand can be sustained at such high prices when supplies are looking pretty good,” said Phin Ziebell, agribusiness economist at National Australia Bank.

CBOT March wheat was 7-3/4 cents lower at $4.08-3/4 a bushel. CBOT March corn was 9-1/4 cents lower at $3.49 a bushel.

During the four-session losing streak, corn futures have shed 4.3 per cent while wheat has lost 5.8 per cent.

Egypt’s state grain buyer, the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC), bought 240,000 tonnes of Russian wheat in a tender, Cairo-based traders said Tuesday. There were no U.S. supplies offered for sale, underlining how uncompetitive U.S. wheat has become on the global market amid plentiful stocks.

“The global (cereal) market is still characterized by plentiful supply,” consultancy Agritel said in a note.

— Mark Weinraub is a Reuters correspondent covering grain markets from Chicago. Additional reporting for Reuters by Julie Ingwersen in Chicago, Naveen Thukral in Singapore and Gus Trompiz in Paris.

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